to the Editor

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Don't second-guess actions of police

We should all take a moment to recognize and appreciate the police officers who risked their lives during the shootout on Friday. In case you missed it, an eight-time convicted felon on parole apparently kidnapped a man and his 2-year-old son, then led police on a chase punctuated by shotgun fire.

We can play armchair quarterback in the safety of our homes and second-guess every action taken by the police. But let's be thankful that when human nature takes a violent and unexpected twist, we have protectors who shoulder the burden of public safety and willfully place themselves in the line of fire.

Thanks guys (and gals, if you were there).

Mark Denzer

Cops should focus on high-theft areas

I am a theft victim, and I'm careful. I know not to hike certain trails or leave my car in high-risk areas. I lock the car, park in well-lighted or -trafficked areas, and I still got hit by thieves one day in the Kailua Beach parking lot. The crime was witnessed by many, the dastardly deed was reported within minutes, the policewoman arrived right away and the result was "not much we can do" and "happens all the time."

How many cars are vandalized every week at the same places? Too many. How many bicycles are locked up by owners and stolen every week anyway? Too many.

These types of petty crimes diminish our quality of life in so many ways. Having a purse stolen leaves repercussions for weeks, but the sense of vulnerability and the anger linger for a long time.

The Honolulu Police Department needs a stronger focus on repeated, regular, quality-of-life crimes; more patrol officers; and more emphasis on recruitment. How can we push for change for the better?

Constance Oliva

Celebrate democracy, don't mock it

It's terribly sad and more than a little shameful that a handful of our cynical neighbors mock those of us who choose to participate in the democratic process. Let me see if I have this straight: If we divide the $2 million the special election would cost by the 1.2 million residents of Hawaii, it comes out to $1.67 each. At a time when America is spending billions of dollars allegedly protecting democracy, I should be willing to spend a buck and change celebrating it.

On Nov. 5, I'll skip my Big Gulp and vote for Patsy Mink, not because I wish to pay tribute to her or as homage to the Democratic leadership, but because it's the only hope we have that Hawaii can continue to enjoy the enlightened and compassionate representation we've known these past years. I urge those who intended to vote for Mink to do so, and I urge the cynics to relish democracy, not deride it.

Jim Slagel

HIV/AIDS doesn't 'feel right' either

I was reading an article in a magazine regarding condomless sex, an activity not restricted to any particular group of sexually active people. One guy was quoted as saying he doesn't like to wear a condom because "they don't feel right." It set me to wondering, does HIV/AIDS feel right?

HIV can be treated, but has no cure. For some people, treatment does not work or is not an option. Treatment has many side effects, including nausea, headache, fatigue, hair loss, rashes, weakness, muscle loss, stomach cramps and kidney stones. Do those feel right?

Having HIV/AIDS also will leave you coping with medications, hospitalizations and sometimes permanent incapacities. Does a $25,000 yearly pharmacy bill feel right?

Sex with condoms is "safer" sex, not safe sex. World AIDS Day is Dec. 1; let us all live to see it.

Robert Zimmer

Liberal celebrities are lousy ambassadors

It's comforting to know that our top Democratic leaders in Washington are listening closely to foreign intelligence expert Barbra Streisand and the other rich Hollywood liberal actors. After all, as celebrities, their expertise in foreign policy is unquestionable.

It's ironic that the same Hollywood that is largely responsible for our ugly American image overseas should now so righteously blame President Bush for this widespread enmity. To many foreigners, the typical American is violent, greedy, immoral and crass. Gee, where could they have gotten such distorted images of us? Most of them have never even met an American.

Michael Van Dorn

How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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